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Language and Lexicon
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Istro-Romanian is a neo-Latin Eastern Romance language that is still spoken today in a few villages and hamlets in the peninsula of Istria, on the northern part of the Adriatic Sea, in what is now Croatia and bordering Slovenia. Formerly it was spoken in a substantially broader part of northeastern Istria surrounding the Ciceria (now Ćićarija) mountain range (ancient name: Mons Carusadius) all the way up to Fiume (now Rijeka) and Trieste and to their adjacent regions. After World War II, the majority of native speakers of Istro-Romanian left their native homes as political refugees and were dispersed around the world. In recent decades, its remaining speakers call themselves Vlahi (a name given to them by Slavs), Rumeni, Romeni, Rumêri or Rumâri, and Istrorumeni, etc., as well as Ćići and Ćiribiri (this last being a nickname that was originally used to disparage the Istro-Romanian language, not to identify its speakers). In more recent times, their identification with their Romanian origins is being diluted all the more by the usage of regional Croatian labels rather than Romanian ones and fragmented even further by superficial town distinctions of recent distinction.


  • Byhan, Arthur - Istrorumănisches Glossar (PDF)
  • Glavina, Andrea - 1905 Vocabular Istriano-Român (PDF)

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Created: Friday, November 03, 2000; Last Updated: Sunday, January 31, 2016
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